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Thread: 3G Scrubbers

  1. #1
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    3G Scrubbers

    As I told Worley, I'm working on a new type of scrubber. Question:

    The DIY bucket or sump scrubber is basically a level 1 project. Simple, free, easy DIY, and works great. Yes they are a bit large and ugly, but who cares. Level 2 are the acrylics. Self contained, small (only six inches or so thick), powerful, and nice looking. But they are so hard to make that only two people besides me have made them (and one of them I had to get made for him). I thought that since so many people made DIY sumps and tanks, many more would have made nice looking acrylics. Guess not. And only one person is on the builder list. Looks like a manufacturer will have to step in before lots of folks use acrylics.

    Well now I'm working on level 3. Ultra small (one inch thick), high light power, unbreakable, etc. Basically the same scrubbing power as a level 1, but the size of a book. Problem is, they are impossible to DIY. So my question is, would anybody want to discuss the building of something that they can't build themselves? I think they are more of a topic for commercial discussions, since only real manufacturers can make them. And being such, of course, this site is the only place that they could be discussed.

  2. #2

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    Re: 3G Scrubbers

    I think there would be enough people (once they start registering on the site!) to start talking about commercial versions.
    Even if they don't make them themselves, everyone likes to chip in ideas for commercial products.
    We need to make it very clear that any ideas put forward would be for the manufacturers to use as they wish, but in the public domain (so the company can build them and make money, but can't patent that particular idea, and the author can't then try and demand any money from the manufacturer etc.).
    Lastly, I thought we'd change the terms from Level 1,2,3 to Generation 1,2,3 (e.g. the new ones would be 3G scrubbers - as the use in the phone industry).
    Feel free to edit your post if you like it .
    I'll kick this off in my next post.

  3. #3

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    Re: 3G Scrubbers

    To start with, if we want them to be 1" thick, there are two major requirements:[list]Very thin lighting
    Thin frame (probably plastic)[/list]
    The lighting could be done in 3 ways that I can see:[list]CF: High output, flat, compact fluorescent bulbs (e.g. like the PLL bulbs I'm using)[list:q229w6ie]Pro: Very high output light
    Pro: pretty cheap
    Pro: Available in a wide range of colour temperatures
    Con: overall size would be maybe 2-3" thick (as my design)
    Con: Can also produce detrimental UV light at very short distances - may cause problems with algae growth
    Con: Requires an electronic ballast[/list]LEDs: A big array of white (and maybe the odd blue to get the right colour temp.)[list]Pro: Becoming as effecient as CF bulbs, producing a reasonable amount of light
    Pro: bulbs will last a very long time
    Pro: Could be made pretty thin, maybe 1-2" thick
    Pro: Being used commercially as metal halide replacements (http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/aquarium/aquaray-lighting.asp)
    Con: Bulbs are more difficult to replace
    Con: more expensive than CF to produce the same amount of lumens output[/list]OLED sheets, similar to the way they are used to back-light new flat panel screens, but obviously only 1 pixel needed[list]Pro: Ultra thin (1mm? per sheet), could bring the overall depth down to 1" easily
    Con: likely to be by far the most expensive technology
    Con: more difficult to procure
    Con: may not produce as much light as either of the above[/list][/list:u:q229w6ie]

    I personally would suggest the high output PL-L CF bulbs for people wanting to DIY their own ultra thin ATS.
    Using high brightness array of LEDs, making a pretty thin, lit on both sides, model, but it would cost slightly more and may not produce quite enough light yet (I may be wrong).

    Alternatively, a compromise would be to use more CF bulbs, e.g. 3 or 4 12W bulbs (there is easily enough for tripple the amount of bulbs in my design than I currently have, it's just not really needed!), would produce a very high light output, but only on one side to make it thinner, and mirror both out-sides.
    To get around the UV issue, a glass sheet can be used to cut down the UV output. This design would easily be thinner than the thinnest HOB skimmers available today, and relatively cheap to produce.
    Ideally you would want it so that it's either big enough to fit your hand inside to clean the glass, or the ability to open it up (maybe cut down the sides and use O-Rings to seal, with hinges or clamps).

    Lastly, I think maybe the 1" thick idea is certainly achievable, but may not be practice commercially.
    In what situation would a 1" thick ATS, with lower light output, therefore lower growth, be preferable over, say a 2" thick, high output light, high growth, unit?
    I think the same idea goes for skimmers, you could make a 1" thick HOB skimmer easily by stretching the funnel that the bubbles travel up so that it's no longer a cylinder, and more of a curved edge rectangular box, but it's not been done yet, as it would likely cost a bit more to make and just isn't really needed as most people have 4"+ behind the back of their tanks.
    However, for something like a wall-mounted unit, a thinner one would certainly look more attractive.

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    Re: 3G Scrubbers

    Side View:

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    Re: 3G Scrubbers

    Front view:

    There may be space for a pump where the water comes in, but the chances are it won't have high enough flow at that size.
    This design lets people attach it on a wall above the aquarium, with a pump inside the tank, or under the aquarium from an overflow, then down into a sump.

    There would need to be some vents for the bulbs and the ballast as they'll produce a bit of heat, but not a huge amount.

    Anyhow, that's just my 2p/2 cents worth.

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    Re: 3G Scrubbers

    Another idea.
    You could put a small float sensor just above the water outlet at the bottom, so that if the algae grows into the pipe, the water level would rise and it could sound an alarm, that it needs to be cleaned. And put another a few inches above as a safety cut-off to turn off the pump.
    Both of these are pretty cheap and virtually no electronics needed to produce the desired affect.
    The float sensors would have to be protected from algae clogging them up though.

  7. #7
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    Re: 3G Scrubbers

    Nice design. I might have to remove the link on the pic in order to post it around though.

    You're still thinking in the same dimension, however. My level 3 (or 3g design) eliminates all the drawbacks you mentioned, and is super simple, although very vard to build. Kinda like making a pentium computer chip, compared to making a buzzer.

    I'll invite more folks to discuss, and decide what to do. There are advantages to limiting it to a few manufacturers, and advantages to explaining it to everyone.

  8. #8

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    Re: 3G Scrubbers

    Show us already! :lol:
    If you can get a sketch it'd be great to see something.

  9. #9

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    Re: 3G Scrubbers

    Hi guys,

    If you're going the way of phone technology, how about a 2.5G?
    Here's my idea...
    Please excuse the diagrams!
    [attachment=1:1qd52kk2]optic scrubber side.JPG[/attachment:1qd52kk2]

    [attachment=0:1qd52kk2]optic scrubber front.JPG[/attachment:1qd52kk2]

    Note that this diagram only shows 3 layers of fibre as I couldn't be bothered to draw them all! It would extend the entirety of the screen and on both sides, needs a 3D drawing really.

    So the idea is that you have a standard bulb like a 65W SAD bulb (6400K very bright) and the size of the bulb really dictates the width of the screen.
    The bulb is housed in a box at the top which a matrix of optic fibres connects to in order to transmit the light to the screen.
    The advantages are:
    1. Zero heat transfer to water.
    2. Distance of end of optic fibre to screen can be as small as you want allowing for algae growth space. In fact it could be flexible so the algae pushes against it meaning the distance is always zero.
    3. Optic fibre is water proof!

    So the screen could be encased in a sandwich of thin flexible acrylic, just enough to act as a termination plate for the optic fibres.
    Of course the optic fibre-screen interface manufacture is the most difficult part of this solution. But I'm sure it would be easier than a TFT screen type idea, and the light would be brighter as it would be dictated by the power of the light housed in the light box.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Good work on the forums by the way, you inspired me to have a go!

    Nick.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    Re: 3G Scrubbers

    Very nice... maybe better that mine. I'll post a pic soon, when I pull it out of the water test. Gotta make sure it's possible to do this without shocking everything. You're right... yours would also be (basically) impossible to diy. But very easy to manufacture. Just like mine.

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